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Wayne GoodwinAnother public servant  who actually knows what he is talking about has weighed in on the absurdity of the legislation advanced by Governor McCrory and conservative lawmakers to try to block the important reforms and expanded coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act. North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin issued the following statement after yesterday’s action by the House Health and Human Services Committee:

“I believe that North Carolinians know what’s best for North Carolina. State-based regulation best protects our consumers and promotes a healthy insurance marketplace. At the earlier direction of the General Assembly, the Department of Insurance and the Department of Health and Human Services have laid the necessary groundwork to implement a state-based health insurance exchange and other provisions of the federal health care law. I am disappointed that state leaders now want to cede more control of our health insurance market to the federal government. Read More

From a new report by the the wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

The share of residents without health coverage fell in 20 states last year, Census data released yesterday show, while rising in just one. This improvement largely reflect increased private coverage among young adults — helped by a health reform provision allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 — and greater enrollment in public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

In North Carolina the uninsured rate fell from 16.8% to 16.3%. And despite population growth and hard economic times, the actual number of uninsured people fell by more than 44,000.  

Paul Van de Water, one of the top budget wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has a worth-reading post at Off the Charts this morning.

“Medicare and Medicaid spending per beneficiary has grown less rapidly than costs for private health insurance in recent years, as we have previously pointed out.  (See here and Figure 1 here.)

This favorable trend is projected to continue for at least the coming decade, according to a new article in The New England Journal of Medicine.  These data belie the claim that spending for Medicare and Medicaid is “out of control” and that the programs must be fundamentally restructured by adopting Medicare premium support or converting Medicaid into a block grant.”

And here’s his chart illustrating this reality:

You can read the entire post by clicking here.

 

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The evolution of the American right has been a fascinating (and occasionally terrifying) thing to watch over the last few decades. On subject after subject, the officially approved views handed down from the corporate plutocrats to their ”think tanks” and hand-selected politicians have gotten more and more extreme. Lately, it almost seems as if there’s a contest on the right to see who can outdo who when it comes to violating former taboos.

Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan talked about combating and controlling bureaucracy. Today, groups on the right are talking about doing away with government altogether. Similar patterns have emerged on other issues. From the environment to education to immigrants to womens’ rights to guns, modern conservatives regularly give voice to ultra-radical views that betray a deep-seated contempt for the fundamentals of the American experiment and that would have shocked American conservatives of the 20th Century.

Here’s another amazing case in point: The new, officially-approved conservative line on the fact that America’s health care system leaves tens of millions of people without health insurance is an unabashed “we don’t care.”

Reporter Julie Rovner of NPR explains in this story that was broadcast this morning.

Yesterday I spent the day with oncologists planning surgery to remove a large mass on my ovary. Everything happened so quickly. I went to my Primary Care Doctor on Thursday and by Tuesday I was facing very scary surgery. The mass may or may not be malignant but it is making me very ill and has to come out. The surgery is expensive and involves several days in the hospital. The first words out of my mouth to my PCP were “Send me to UNC they will work with me on a payment plan I can afford”. I did not say get me the best oncologist. I think UNC has the best but I should not have to think about cost first.

I am in debt for health care now due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I live a very healthy lifestyle. I am 49 years old am unlucky enough to have a Progressive form of MS and now have to have radical surgery and I do not know what else. I am trying not to think of the cost.

Congressman Price when I was in his office in Washington in March thought everyone with MS automatically gets disability and Medicare. I can’t get it. We are middle class homeowners who were scraping by with one major illness. Now we have two major illnesses to deal with to deal with.

My Doctors feel badly because I do all the right things and yet I have bad luck and bad genetics. I want to pay my medical bills and will but I do not think in this country people should lose their homes or retirements over a hospital bill.